Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Sunday, 12 May 2013 13:24

'Leviathan' sinks as a rewarding film experience

'Leviathan' sinks as a rewarding film experience montrealgazette.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel
  • Dates: May 17-19, 2013

For avant-garde film fans, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel's experimental documentary "Leviathan" will amaze and delight. For those who want at least a bare bones narrative or some guided insight, "Leviathan" will become an exercise in tedium before its 87 minutes have concluded. Count me in the latter category for this effort.

Taking its title from passages in the book of Job, practically indecipherable text introduces this idea. Set aboard a fishing trawler that works out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, "Leviathan" then spends its first half hour dominated by darkness punctuated with streaks of color, mechanical ship noises, a few unintelligible directions, swirling water and long takes. It's difficult to figure out what is happening though grinding cables, the suggestion of nets, and a railing provide some orientation. This purposeful framing takes advantage of unusual camera placements with vertiginous angles.

Captured in high definition digital format, the images have been color manipulated to communicate a surreal, uncommon world. The creators of this film push that idea with underwater shots of starfish in stark relief against blue waves, bloody decks littered with fish heads, and an impressionistic, beautiful shot of seagulls. Multiple small cameras give unprecedented, skewed perspectives.

Periodically, tough-looking men appear, working hard in dangerous jobs--unloading nets heavy with fish, cutting sea rays in half, gutting the catch, etc. It seems tattoos and cigarettes are required props. One man sits at a table watching a television heard but not shown and slowly falls asleep in a lengthy take. I started feeling the same way as the sounds and images accumulated ad nauseam.

Never does anyone explicitly note that this industrial fishing destroys the ocean floor and wastes a great deal of its catch. Fair enough--this isn't the intent here, but the experimental "Leviathan" left me cold and disappointed. Its St. Louis premiere is at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17th through Sunday, May 19th. For information and the current schedule, you may call 314-968-7487 or on the web: Webster.edu/filmseries.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

5 users and 9144 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook